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Grand Tour of Ireland

  • Duration: 14 days
  • Group size: 15-38
  • Reviews: 232
Get to the heart of Irish culture.

Delve beyond the sheep-dotted green landscapes to the cities and villages that span the country, all the way from Dublin to Derry. Mingle with Dubliners in traditional pubs, pick up a souvenir in Waterford, drive along the Ring of Kerry, and walk across Giant’s Causeway. After two weeks of exploring, you’ll leave feeling like a local (if you can even bear to leave at all).

Your tour package includes
  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 10 guided sightseeing tours
Included highlights
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Glendalough
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Waterford Crystal Factory
  • Cobh
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Day-by-day itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Dublin
Included meal: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin
Included meal: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of Ireland’s charming capital city.

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence, and pass by the Guinness Brewery

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square as you go

• See Trinity College and walk past the entrance of Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue

• End your tour in the iconic Temple Bar district

Enjoy a free afternoon in Dublin or add an excursion.

Powerscourt Estate & Gardens
Excursion (additional cost)
Waterford2 nights
Day 4: Waterford via Glendalough & Kilkenny
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving Dublin, travel a short distance southwest to County Kildare.

• Enter Wicklow Mountains National Park and make your way to the Glendalough Visitor Centre to learn about the historic site

• Explore the ancient monastery, passing by the Round Tower, stone churches, and decorated crosses

• Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town

• Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, overlooking the River Nore

• Pass by the Gothic St. Canice’s Cathedral, built in the 13th century

Continue on to Waterford and sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 5: Waterford Crystal Factory & Rock of Cashel
Included meal: Breakfast

Your Tour Director introduces you to Waterford’s legendary sites and exports.

• Visit the Waterford Crystal Factory to learn about its world-famous crystal

• Journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating Tipperary Plain

• View the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster, see Celtic carvings at Cormac’s Chapel, and explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower

County Kerry2 nights
Day 6: County Kerry via Cobh & Blarney Castle
Included meal: Breakfast

On your way to County Kerry, get a feel for the many sides of Ireland, from small villages to vibrant cities and iconic castles.

• Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which once served as a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre to hear tales of Irish emigration

• Climb to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, which is said to grant the “gift of gab”

Later, enjoy a free evening in County Kerry or add an excursion.

Traditional Irish Music with Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 7: Ring of Kerry
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery.

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Explore the picturesque villages that line the Ring of Kerry

• Stop for photos at Muckross Lake and Lough Leane in Killarney National Park

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

County Galway2 nights
Day 8: Galway via County Clare
Included meal: Breakfast

Head north to Galway today, taking time to view spectacular scenery en route.

• Walk along the mesmerizing coastline of the Cliffs of Moher

• Pass through the Burren, a unique limestone plateau where fields of rock are dotted with wildflowers

Continue on to Galway for a sightseeing tour of the city led by your Tour Director.

• Stroll past Lynch’s Castle, Galway Cathedral, the Druid Theater Company, and the broad expanse of Eyre Square

• View the city’s medieval walls and Spanish Arch

• Peruse authentic Claddagh rings in a local shop

Enjoy a free evening in County Galway or add an excursion.

Castle Banquet Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 9: Free day in Galway
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring County Galway at your leisure or add an excursion.

Kylemore Abbey & Connemarra National Park
Excursion (additional cost)
Sligo1 night
Day 10: Sligo via Glen Keen Farm
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Pay a visit to Glen Keen Farm, one of the largest sheep farms in Ireland, on your way to Sligo.

• Learn about sheep farming while soaking in the natural beauty that defines the area

• Watch an interactive sheep herding demonstration

• Enjoy a traditional lunch of Glen Keen Farm Lamb Stew, dessert, coffee, and tea

Please note: Vegetarian options are available for the included lunch.

After, continue on to Sligo.

Belfast3 nights
Day 11: Belfast via Derry
Included meal: Breakfast

On your way to Northern Ireland, journey through the landscapes immortalized by the poetry of William Butler Yeats.

• Stop at Drumcliffe churchyard to pay your respects at Yeats’ grave

• Continue on to Derry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city, for a guided tour before heading to Belfast

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Belfast
Included meal: Breakfast

Start your day with a guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital.

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall

• Pass the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and learn about the ship’s ill-fated journey at the Titanic Belfast Museum

• View the recently restored Grand Opera House

Enjoy a free afternoon in Belfast or add an excursion.

Castles of Northern Ireland & Afternoon Tea
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 13: Free day in Belfast
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day in Belfast or add an excursion this morning.

This evening, celebrate your trip with your group at a farewell dinner.

Giant's Causeway
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 14: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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4.7 average
Amazing Adventure of a Lifetime
by 4th time traveler 

Without any reservations, I have concluded that this was the BEST trip I have ever taken, both domestic and international. Ireland is an incredible mix of present and past with storybook landscapes. Our tour director was extremely personable. The accommodations and guided excursions were varied and ...

Read more +
by 3rd time traveler 

It was an amazing trip and I cant say enough about our tour director Ciaran (Sean). The bus had 34 of us on it and by the end we were all family. He made this trip wonderful. His knowledge of the areas and williness to share of himself made us understand the country more.

What a Great Trip!
by 9th time traveler 

We had a great time. Mike the guide was very personable and attentive to everyone in the group. He shared a lot of knowledge about Ireland with us.

by 2nd time traveler 

Trip of a lifetime! Fabulous! Allowed generous time for exploring on your own. Disappointed that 3 of our optional excursions were cancelled (1 pre-trip and 2 during the trip), but our tour director found a local performance to substitute for one and it was awesome! We were also allowed to join...

Excursions Cancelled Prior and During "Grand Tour of Ireland"
by 2nd time traveler 

When I chose Go Ahead Tours, in making my decision to travel with you on the “Grand Tour of Ireland, consideration was given to the included highlights as well as the optional excursions offered. I joined and paid in advance for each and every one of the optional excursions offered. Imagine my sur...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 06/24/2019

Dear Linda, We appreciate you taking the time to s...

Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Hotels, flights, & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Ten Square Hotel

This sophisicated boutique hotel is located in the Linen Quarter. Guests enjoy a bar and a steakhouse. Nearby, you’ll find City Hall, Victoria Square,...

The Glasshouse

Towering dramatically over the banks of the Garavogue river, The Glasshouse is the first design hotel of its kind in Ireland. A glittering beacon of q...


Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter Ireland and the United Kingdom, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Dublin and depart from Belfast. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
  • Irish pubs serve up hearty lunches, such as the traditional stew of bacon and boiled cabbage. Soda bread is delicious, very filling and served with many a meal. Nibble a scone at afternoon tea, with a pat of high-quality butter from County Kerry. Guinness stout is an international sensation, but locals might favor Murphy's, depending on where you are.
  • Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental Europe, Asian, and even American influences.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Ireland and the United Kingdom operate within 230-240 volts and use a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though charges may apply.
  • There is no internet access on the motor coach.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • Ireland and the United Kingdom are on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in Dublin.
  • You will use the euro in Ireland and the Pound sterling in the United Kingdom.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
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Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
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